If you put a chocolate chip cookie and a sugar cookie in front of me, I'll always go for chocolate. However, these are hands down the best sugar cookies I've ever put in my mouth. And I meant that plural because I've had more than one, in fact, I just put one in my mouth for breakfast. Perfectly buttery, with a crisp cookie shell and a soft and chewy finish. I altered a Martha Stewart recipe by adding more butter (what) and substituting vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste (my new favorite thing). Do you see these little flecks...
You might have to wake up your eyes with more coffee and look closely, but they're there. And the subtle flavor they add to the cookie make them unreal. We chose to roll them in sanding sugar before baking, but you could add icing if you wanted.
Although, in my opinion, that would only take away from the gloriousness that is this cookie. Is "gloriousness" a word? Sometimes I put lots of letters together and hope for the best.
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
(Makes approx. 2 dozen)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sour cream
Sanding sugar or sprinkles (optional)
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides with spatula. Add egg and vanilla paste and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add half to wet ingredients, mixing on low speed. Then add sour cream, combine, and finally rest of dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into golf-ball sized balls (or slightly larger) and dip one side in sugar (if using). Place sugar-side up on parchment-lined baking sheets, a few inches apart.